A Belated Birthday Party


Akari's birthday party with Mikoto, Rashmi, and Fate at the Korma Chameleon.

Date: 2018-08-26
Pose Count: 27
Akari Hayabusa 2018-08-27 00:02:56 96099
Today is finally the big day!

(The big day of her boss Riventon's showdown with Sakura-imouto. Bell is sitting that one out both because of her prior Akari-commitments, and because of the clear conflict of interest. This was also the conversation where she learned about Sailor Earth; still, Bell accepted that sometimes, experiments do go wrong, and that some people just have absolutely awful souls from which to create a Nullheart.)

It's finally the day of Akari's birthday party, and she and Mikoto have reserved a spot at Korma Chameleon. It's almost two weeks late, but, well, getting pulled into a weird dream-dimension for a full day tends to disrupt one's plans.

"You know, there's been a part of me that really wanted to just feel completely awful about how the actual day of my 'sweet sixteen' went," she says as she walks into the Korma with Mikoto, "but honestly, I just ..." She lets out a chuckle. "Now that I'm here, I'm too excited, y'know?" She shakes her head. "And it's wrapped up in the feeling of 'wow, I'm sixteen now!'" She's wearing a red dress which manages to be just about halfway between her school uniform and her exercise clothes in terms of how formal it is.
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-08-27 00:14:17 96102
Mikoto had put out that word to a few friends, but most of them begged off - they had already made other plans, most of them, and Akari was a relative unknown even if Mikoto spoke up for her. Still, there were one or two who hadn't immediately said they simply couldn't make it. And of course at least one would be there since they were working at the restaurant in question.

She walks in with Akari, smiling warmly, having had no plans at all aside from this. (Of course, if she had known about Takashi going after Sakura... well. She'd have had a hard call to make. But she hasn't a clue, there.) She's gone for a semi-formal look herself, with crisply-pressed black slacks and a pearl-buttoned blouse the exact same shade of red as Akari's dress.

"Eh, don't worry yourself over it. Whoever set up that crazy thing is responsible, not you." She squeezes Akari's hand briefly as they wait to be seated. "So we're going to forget about everything but having fun, tonight."
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-27 00:16:44 96103
After the semi-success that was Ariel's birthday party, Rashmi's parents seem to have made that a permanent offer; upon learning that the party wouldn't be large enough to require the closing of the entire store, the setup was given a steep discount, and as Mikoto and Akari enter they can easily pick out their spot from the rest; not simply for the fact that it's the one part of the restaurant that doesn't have at least a smattering of diners, but also because a booth is playing host to two tables pushed against it, above which is a wide banner proclaiming "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AKARI-CHAN!" bordered by red, gold, and green balloons.

Nobody ever said the Terioses were required to have good taste all the time.

Standing at the end of the birthday setup is Rashmi, beaming brightly in her branded Korma-kun apron. "Hi, Nakajima-chan! Which means you must be Hayabusa-san, happy birthday~!" she chirps, her good cheer very audibly genuine and sincere. If she notices the less-than-stellar attendance list, she doesn't seem to even want to make mention of it. "Now I know Nakajima-chan's been here before, but, have you? Because if not, there're a couple things to explain."
Fate T. Waldia 2018-08-27 00:34:40 96107
Fate Testarossa had heard there was a party. At the Korma Chameleon. Now. Fate Testarossa probably would had attended anyways- but she has something to deliver to both Mikoto and Rashmi, and meet one of Mikoto's friends too. Thusly Fate Tesarossa arrives.

She is dressed in a simple black dress, with knee length black socks and dress shoes. Not quite formal, not quite casual. She did not know what to expect so she kept at an inbetween. She spoke to Nanoha about what kind of gifts to bring to someone's birthday you have never ever met before.

Fate Testarossa comes with a bakery box from Midori-ya filled to the brim with cupcakes. A mix of chocolate and vanilla, with a mix of buttercreme and chocolate and mint frosting over them. A variety of cupcakes. There is a birthday card that features a dog that says 'Happy Barkday!'. It's really awful. Arf picked it out. Inside the card is a gift card for some botique in town. Gift cards, Nanoha said, can rarely dissapoint- while not as personal.

"Hello, everyone." she bows as she arrives with the box, placing it down on the table Akari and Mikoto are sat at. "Hello Mikoto-chan!" she looks towards Akari and bows. "Hello... Akari-san was it?" she says. "If not, I apologize, the name I wrote in the card will be wrong..." she trails off a little sadly.

When she finishes greeting Mikoto and Akari she looks to Rashmi and bows. "Rashmi-chan." she says. "Hello." she says. "I have good news. But in a moment or two." she says.

"I have an invitiation of my own to deliver to you and Mikoto-chan." she says.
Akari Hayabusa 2018-08-27 00:43:58 96109
Akari smiles at Mikoto. "Definitely," she says, and then ... turns around and sees the banner. Her eyes go wide like a kid on her birthday, and she breaks into a smile, a blush rising to her cheeks.

And then she just struggles not to freeze up when she sees Rashmi, because ... well, she crossed paths with Nanoha a couple months ago, and a kid who's made big enough waves that even Dr. Murano had heard of her was one thing, but you don't forget the face and voice of someone you smashed through a rooftop, especially when that was a moment from one of the worst times of your life.

She just manages to react with barely a twitch. "Oh, uh, no, it actually is the first time I've been here, actually!" she says. Okay. Okay, Akari, she doesn't recognize you as Nightbell, she can't recognize you, this is gonna be fine, it's gonna be fine, it's gonna be FINE.

And then suddenly there's Fate, with whom she is also more familiar in her other identity. "Aha, nope, you definitely got my name right!" she says, managing a smile and a bow. "I'm Hayabusa Akari, pleased to meet you! What's your name?"
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-08-27 00:49:10 96111
Mikoto doesn't seem to notice anything strange, though she does return Akari's smile at the sight of the banner. "Happy Birthday, Akari-chan." She grins and slides an arm around Akari's shoulders for a quick hug, leading her on to the table Rashmi is holding for them. "This is Rashmi Terios, our hostess for tonight, and a friend of mine. Trust her taste, some of the dishes here can be quite spicy so if you're unsure, ask."

She's about to guide Akari to a seat, when Fate joins the group. "Ahh, good to see you! Akari-chan, this is Fate Testarossa, another good friend." She smiles, brilliant and wide, and makes a brief bow of her own. "Come, sit with us for a bit. Do you have time for a drink, a snack? Maybe more?"
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-27 00:54:07 96113
Apparently Rashmi doesn't recognize Akari in the slightest; the redhead gives a deep bow, gesturing to the free tables. "Normally I'd be giving out menus, but, Papi likes to do kind of like fine-dining tasting menus for birthdays. So, just let me know how spicy you like your food, and I hope you brought an appetite; we only have so many carry-out boxes to go around, and Bengali food doesn't do small portions well." This last, said with a wide grin. "And it's so good to see you, Fate-chan! Sit down, sit down, I need to get back into the kitchen in a sec but I can't wait to hear the news!"
Fate T. Waldia 2018-08-27 01:03:37 96115
Fate smile at Mikoto. The smile is a little wider than the small smiles she's been able to give recently. "Actually." she says softly. "I'm going to need to correct you on my name, Mikoto-chan, in a moment- when Rashmi-chan is ready." she looks past Mikoto back to Akari. "Hello, Akari-san." she says. "I'm Fate. That first part is correct at least." she offers.

She will smile at Mikoto. "I didn't bring Arf. She wanted to come, but- I need her to see to some things in my stead." She takes a seat and nods.

"When you're ready Rashmi-chan." she says over to Rashmi, before looking back at the other two.
Akari Hayabusa 2018-08-27 01:10:39 96117
Akari ... gives a somewhat bashful smile at Mikoto's hug. Suddenly, she feels a lot more comfortable, and finds it easier to relax. Odd, that. Well, time to settle down anyway!

(... Yeah, the significance of that might be obvious to everyone except Akari herself.)

"Pleased to meet you, Fate-san," she says, smiling over at her. "And, well, thank you regardless!" She graciously pulls the gift-box and moves puts it aside for now, and looks up at Rashmi. "Well, hmm ... I think ... it would be best to err on the side of not-spicy, if that's all right with you, I just can't really handle it if it gets into ... excess." Looks like Akari is definitely not someone you need to worry about trying to bravado her way through the death curry ...

She blinks, looking between Fate and Mikoto as Fate gives the first half of her proclamation. "Hmm ...?"
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-08-27 01:20:10 96119
Mikoto had left a giftbox with Rashmi earlier in the day, so it should be waiting by the table for them to arrive. She keeps up her lazy, warm smile as they sit, and she looks up with Akari at the others. "You know my tastes, Rashmi-chan, and please, call me by name. No need to be formal."

She arches an eyebrow at Fate's news, but waits patiently. "I'm glad you at least could join us. Not much of a party without guests. Even Hikari-chan had to beg off, she said something about homework..."
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-27 01:25:23 96120
"Sorry, working, habit," Rashmi chuckles. "And that's perfectly fine, Hayabusa-chan! Papi'll be happy to hear that anyway; he hates turning up the spice, and the challenge is really just to punish people who brag about how our 5-star isn't spicy at all. So! I'll be right back with the lassi and appetizers, and we've got another dedicated server who'll bring out the rest while I explain what the dishes are and what's in them, okay?"

Bobbing her head at Fate, she turns and bops back into the kitchen, and for the moment the three have the table to themselves. One does wonder, however, why the owners insisted on using two tables that can seat four apiece, to augment a full booth, when only four extra chairs were provided.
Fate T. Waldia 2018-08-27 01:43:23 96125
Fate shakes her head. "I'll talk about it in a little bit." she says to Mikoto. "This is your friends birthday party right?~ So let's enjoy that first." she says with a small smile. She looks over to Akari. "So are you new to the area, Akari-san?" she asks softly. "I'm kind of new myself..." she admits. "I used to live somewhere. Else.".

"I've been staying with a friend of mine's family in the time being." she says quietly. She isn't getting into the magic things too much. She has no idea if Mikoto's friend is in the know or not.

She can make some assumptions about maybe, but. She isn't positive on that so she's keeping mum.

"Rashmi's family does good food here." she shifts. Remembering one of her first visits here. And how 'that girl'... Nanoha at the time was here too. And the problems it caused and how she had to leave.

She's glad that is not a thing anymore. "The girl's I'm staying with family owns the Midori-ya, a bakery and cafe in town." she says.
Akari Hayabusa 2018-08-27 01:47:19 96126
Akari beams at Mikoto. "I mean, you are guest number one, but ..." She shrugs, looking at Fate. "I dunno, uh, I sort of don't have a whole lot of experience with parties, ahahah ..."

She blinks, looking up at Rashmi. "Challenge ...?" she murmurs, a note of apprehension in her voice, before she turns back to Fate. "Oh! Well, uh ..." She shrugs. "I used to live in another part of Tokyo until a couple of months ago. I, uh ..." She grimaces. "... my foster guardian at the time couldn't take care of me anymore," she says awkwardly. Well, that explains what a non-Japanese-looking girl is doing with the name Hayabusa Akari ...

Then she blinks. "Oh! Midori-ya?" she says. "Is your friend Takamachi Nanoha-san? I met her at the Crown once."
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-08-27 01:59:31 96129
Mikoto beams right back. "It's your party, Akari-chan, we'll do whatever you want to do. You want the Challenge, we'll try the Challenge. You want to go do karaoke, we'll drag Rashmi and Fate here out to a karaoke joint." She keeps smiling.

"As for the Challenge... eh. I wouldn't recommend it right now, unless you really like very spicy food. They call it 'Death Curry' for a reason, after all."

She nods at Fate, "Seems like you're both newish to town, then. I guess this'll be a welcome, as well as a birthday party, hmm?" She leans back in her chair and nods. "How is Nanoha-chan, these days? I haven't seen her in a bit."
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-27 02:18:13 96134
It's only a few moments before Rashmi exits the kitchen, bearing a well-balanced tray bearing a trio of pitchers; one pastel yellow, one pale green, and one a faint pink. "Okay, bottomless lassi first~! The yellow is mango, the green is cardamon, and the pink is rosewater. We made sure to turn down the heat so it shouldn't hurt at all, and Ozuki-chan should be out..."

Almost on cue, another server wheels a larger tray toward the table, bearing a fair assortment of empty plates and a quartet of fragrant, steaming platters. As she sets the pitchers down, Rashmi then turns to pass out the plates, and help Ozuki-chan transfer the platters to the table.

Oh. That's why there's so much room.

"Okay! First," she says, turning the plate heaped with something crinkly, fried, and smelling strongly of cabbage, spices, and garlic, "is the Cabbage Pakora. Basically it's exactly what it looks like, shredded cabbage, garlic, spring onions and coriander, coated in spiced flour batter and pan-fried, with mint sauce."

Then, she indicates a bowl of potato and herbs. "And this is Alookabli, kind of a potato salad but with tamarind chutney, chickpeas, and spices. Over here we have Nargisi Kebab... think like a Bengali interperetation of Scotch eggs, spiced beef and chickpea mash wrapped around a boiled egg. Aaaand last, onion Peyaji, because everyone needs to have onion fritters at least once in their life."

Turning to the server, Rashmi grins, bowing. "Thank you, Ozuki-chan! I think this'll do it for the first course, and I'll take care of any refills they need!" The server chuckles, returning the bow and heading back to the kitchen because is a restaurant work never stops until it's done.
Fate T. Waldia 2018-08-27 02:20:01 96135
Fate eyes light up. "Yes, it's Nanoha." she offers. No honorific!? S-s-candalous. "I'm not surprised you've met her. She seems to make fast friends with everyone she meets. I wish I had that ability." she says muted. "I don't do... things like this very well either. I had to ask Nanoha all about it before I came over." she gives a little sigh.

"She says I'm a little intense sometimes but that's just due to my upbringing." another sigh. "I'm doing my best to adapt. I think I've done good thus far."

She looks to Mikoto. "Nanoha is doing fine. She's really happy about... the news." she says. "Right..." she fishes into her pocket and produces two envelopes. She slides one to Mikoto.

When Rashmi comes back, she hands one to her too. "Those are invites. To my congratulations festivities." she says. "I've been adopted!" she finally says. "The invite will tell you a little more." she offers. Indeed, it'll say her new name, where abouts the event is happening and other such things. It isn't overly huge however.

"I will be Princess Fate Testarossa Waldia." she says with a soft series of nods. She looks up. "You remember Runealy-chan and her friends. Don't you Mikoto?..." she asks. "They're finally back from...." she looks to Akari and looks back to Mikoto. "Europe." she says. Just a nervous smile there.
Akari Hayabusa 2018-08-27 02:32:39 96139
Akari shakes her head firmly. "No Challenges for me, thanks!" she says, grinning at Mikoto. "Nothing called 'Death Curry'."

And then her eyes widen as The Meal starts coming out. "Oh ... oh wow!" she says. She can preemptively feel her artificial biology crying out in overload. "I ..." She laughs nervously. "I-I-I don't even know where to begin! Thank you!"

And then her head jerks around when Fate makes her announcement. Bell certainly knows how Akari's supposed to react to that. "Oh, wow! Congratulations!" she exclaims, smiling widely. "You must be so excited! I mean ... wow!" She grins over at her. "... And also: lucky!" she adds, unable to resist adding in a good-natured vicarious ribbing.

'Wait, is this another one of those things where I find out my feelings are genuine?' she thinks to herself. '... Eh, save it for later.' (She's been saving a lot of these thoughts for later. Bell is kind of bad at self-reflection.)

And then her brain catches up with her and notices the 'Princess' part, which gives her pause for a moment. That ... is surprising to both of her identities.
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-08-27 02:39:07 96143
Mikoto nods. "Right, no Challenges tonight." Of the Death Curry sort or any other, if she has her way. "Just enjoy the - oh wow that's a lot of food." She's never been here for a proper party before, just to have dinner by herself or with Hikari. She reaches over and squeezes Akari's shoulder again, then hmmms. "So, what do you want to try first? I recommend the pakora first, ease your way into things, if you've never tried this kind of food before."

She flashes a grin to Rashmi as the girl turns away, but then turns her attention back to the table, holding up a serving spoon to await Akari's choice of what to start with.

And then Fate has News. She almost drops the spoon, but then remembers that Fate had been staying with the Waldians. "That's great! Congratulations!" She waves the spoon about for a moment, then remembers what she was holding it for and goes to scoop up some food for Akari. "I dont' know them terribly well, but well enough to know they're great people. A good family." Her smile fades, just a bit, at that - her own family is none too warm or loving, aside from Hikari, of course. It's why she throws herself into her friendships with such enthusiasm... and why she was so devastated when Ikuto left her. But that's all over now! (She hopes...)
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-27 02:46:13 96145
"She's actually right," Rashmi says, bobbing her head at Mikoto and grinning. "And remember when I say 'spices,' most of it isn't any kind of chili." For herself, she sets a little bit from each platter on her plate, taking care to leave more than enough for the other three... And is struck still when Fate hands her announcement over.

Then, a long gasp. "Ohmigosh, Fate-chan, you got adopted?! That's amazing, I'm so happy fo-- wait Princess? Princess? You got adopted by European royalty?"

.....It hasn't come up often at all, that Rashmi is in fact a high-fantasy turbo-nerd. Given the stars in her eyes at the moment, it may be a thing she has to own up to now.
Fate T. Waldia 2018-08-27 03:07:43 96146
Fate smiles at Rashmi. "It's a little more involved than that." she says. The tone that suggests magical dealings. "But I'll talk to you more about it later, or if you have a moment between just you and me while I'm here." she says.

"or Arf can let you know the details later." she adds. She looks to Akari and Mikoto as food happens. She'll move to eat. She is not a fast eater. Or eats very much.

"But yes. It's good news, and I'm happy." she says. "Nanoha is happy about it too." she says. Even if it was unprompted. "-and so is her family." she says.

She mmms a bit. "This is good Rashmi-chan." she says silently. She looks back over to Akari and Mikoto. "So are you going to open gifts soon?" she asks to Akari-san.

"No rush, I mean." she says softly.
Akari Hayabusa 2018-08-27 03:14:19 96147
Akari smiles at Mikoto as she squeezes her shoulder, pulling herself together and nodding. "I, uh ... yeah, let's go with the pakora first!" she says, easily influenced by Mikoto's suggestions. "And ... the onion Peyaji after that, I guess? Since, uh, since Terios-san recommended it." Argh, no, there's that bad memory again, quick, think about Mikoto instead --

Rashmi practically screams Akari's eardrums out at Fate. Akari furrows her brow; something about this doesn't add up. Well, obviously, it's something magical-that-Akari-doesn't-know-about. Bell makes a mental note to look up the name "Waldia" in UMBRA's database the next chance she gets. In the meantime ... time to act ignorant. (She's not as good at this as she thinks she is.)

She giggles nervously at Fate. "Gonna have some food first," she says, as she sets upon the pakora. "I, uh, I'm not actually sure what's the ... the correct order to do things in." Her preprogrammed Belkan knowledge is failing her once again! Still, it's realistic for an orphan, at a complete guess. "Uh, pakora first, then presents, then more food!" she says firmly.
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-08-27 03:16:59 96148
Mikoto shrugs and scoops out some food for Akari, lading down her plate following her direction. "There you go... enjoy!" She doesn't need to look up Waldia, of course, even if she isn't terribly well-acquainted with them, she still knows enough.

"The correct order, Akari-chan, is "whatever order the birthday girl wants to do it in". If you want to eat, or open presents, or do karaoke, or get out a board game and see if Fate knows how to play..." She shrugs. Then starts to fill her own plate.
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-27 03:33:58 96149
"Oh you definitely want to wait until after the entree," Rashmi chuckles. "If for no other reason than we're gonna need the room, y'know? And besides, it's gonna be dessert that's basically the restaurant's birthday gift for you."

Fate's mysterious promise of clarification has the redhead tilting her head briefly, but she simply nods, and applies herself to her portion of the food. "So what school do you go to, Hayabusa-san? Interested in any clubs?"
Fate T. Waldia 2018-08-27 03:39:59 96150
Fate Testarossa nods a bit. "If it helps you any. I don't even know when my birthday is." she offers. A sudden relatization of what she just said. "I mean. It feels like I don't!" she says nervously. But it's truth. She was born out of an experiment tube. She doesn't know when her birthday is.

To be honest, she never really thought about if that mattered until now. She knows something was put down on the fake information Lindy had to make for legal reasons. Maybe she'll just use that.

"I had to ask Nanoha about the details like I said before. I just know you're supposed to open gifts at some point." she says. Nervousness fades quickly though.

She stops eating for now. Light eater, and politely listens to discussion.
Akari Hayabusa 2018-08-27 03:45:59 96151
Akari nods to Mikoto. "Well, I'm peckish to start with, so! That is my decree!" she says cheerfully.

She nods to Rashmi. "Oh, I go to Infinity," she says cheerfully. "I'm on the kendo team with Mikoto-chan, it's where I met her." She shrugs a bit. "I'd been interested it for a while, so I decided to join the team when I got transferred to Infinity. Which ... was halfway through June, but oh well."

Akari nods to Fate with a grimace. "Yeah, they practically picked August 11 out of a hat for me," she says. (Literally true.) "They just ..." She shakes her head. "I was found as an infant. No idea who my parents were ..." (Lie of omission; it'd be more accurate to say she doesn't know the names of the scientists who created her.) "... and, and I'm still not entirely sure what my ethnicity is ..." (False; she knows she's Belkan.) She smiles. "Seriously, though, I know we only just met, Te-- uh, Waldia-san, but ... I'm really happy for you."
Mikoto Nakajima 2018-08-27 03:58:30 96152
"Well, I have to wonder just what the entree will be, then, if this is just the appetizer." Mikoto winks at Rashmi, then tries one of the pakora. "Mmmm. Definitely delicious."

She hmmms softly and looks between Fate and Akari as they both declare their lack of birthday. "Well, I guess I'm the odd girl out tonight. Mine's in January." She shrugs. "Going to take some getting used to for the new name."
Rashmi Terios 2018-08-27 04:05:24 96153
"Next month," Rashmi says, lifting her hand and smiling shyly. "But I'm sorry to hear that, Hayabusa-san... Do you like the people you're living with now?" Here she blinks, and looks over her shoulder. "Oh right... Um. So the entree's going to be coming out soon, and whatever you don't eat you'll get to take home, okay? I don't mean like start stuffing your faces now, but like, if there was something that looked good... probably want to try it soon."

Partially because she had about as much on her plate as Fate, it is very much now clean, and Rashmi gives Fate a gentle, understanding smile. "Well considering birthday parties are generally all about the birthday girl... It pretty much goes how you say it goes."